Global Summit — Meet Regional Crisis

CANNES– Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was the inconvenient guest here at the G-20 summit, attending under unhappy circumstances for him as well as his counterparts. Typically, leaders of non-G20 countries would give their eye teeth for a chance to join such rarefied company. But then Papandreou wasn’t so much pulled into the festivities as called on the carpet. In fact, he had left Cannes for Athens before most of the leaders coming from beyond Europe had even arrived.

Papandreou’s out-of-the-blue plan to put Greek fiscal policy up for referendum upended both Greece’s recently announced agreement with Eurozone leaders and the G-20 summit agenda. Truth be told, Papandreou’s move — which meanwhile was withdrawn almost as suddenly as it was proposed — simply heightened a crisis that would have been awkward for G-20 leaders even without fresh uncertainty over Greece’s debt.

Job One of the G-20 is collective stewardship of the global economy, striving for strong growth of the world’s total GDP and stability in its financial system. The lingering uncertainties over the solvency of Eurozone problem children Greece and (principally) Italy pose threats at both levels. They could knock the financial system off its feet with a post-Lehman-like contagion. Or merely slip into renewed recession and drag everyone else down with them.

So whose problem is this any way, the Eurozone’s or the wider world’s? The solution really must come from the Europeans themselves, yet the stakes are high for all of us. At one level, this quandary aptly captures the interconnected times in which we live. From what I’ve heard in Cannes, though, the problem is also a distinctly practical one for diplomacy here at the summit. The leaders from non-Eurozone countries have been unsure of their standing or role regarding the crisis — unclear how or how much they should be discussing it. After all, the summit they thought they were coming to had a different and longer-term agenda: re-balancing between countries too dependent on exports or consumer demand, strengthening financial regulation, spreading development to less-developed nations, combating corruption, and food security.

In terms of the Euro crisis, they’ve probably mostly been wishing Germany would commit the resources for an adequate financial firewall around the Italian debt or that the European Central Bank would become more like the Fed and shift its role to become a lender of last resort.

Photo credit: Agencia Brazil

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Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer4 years ago

Out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs are destroying all of the industrialized nations.

Corporations have over-powered our government which now believes that out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs is inevitable and necessary with expectations that the middle class should fall on their swords. It is the underlying cause of the financial collapse and borders on national security with the loss of our middle class tax base. Yet, this nation does nothing, not even demand it be restricted by whatever method. International businesses are doing the UN-AMERICAN activity of destroying U.S. salaries, U.S. businesses that hire in the U.S., and as an end result, destroying the U.S. marketplace while still demanding BUSINESS ENTITLEMENTS and protections for themselves.

Infrastructure spending and tax breaks will not replace enough jobs to keep up with the hemorrhaging loss of U.S. jobs from out-sourcing over seas. Neither party will do anything about it unless we begin grass roots efforts to protest out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs. If nothing is done we will deserve what we get and it will get a lot worse before it gets better.

Rita White
Rita White4 years ago


Swadeep Reddy
Swadeep Reddy4 years ago

after US, Euro zone crisis is gonna effect world economy

Bob P.
Bob P.4 years ago

thanks for the article